Holding a family meeting to discuss divorce may be a difficult topic to bring up, but it is absolutely important to have this talk as a family. Include everyone. You and your spouse should tell the children together, and you should have all of your children in the room at the same time.

One reason to have this meeting is that it shows the children that you and your spouse both want the divorce. You don’t want them to blame one of you and side with the other. They should never feel like they have to take sides. You and your spouse may be ending your marriage, but you still need to present a united front to the kids as their parents.

The main reason to tell all of the children at the same time is so that they don’t hear it from someone else. This may be shocking and upsetting news for the kids. You need it to come from you, not from the rumor mill or from a sibling.

You also want to create an atmosphere where children feel loved, protected and cared for. As parents, stress how you can still do that even if you’re not married. Take this chance to demonstrate your love to the children. Answer their questions. Let them talk. Repeatedly tell them that they didn’t do anything wrong and that they didn’t cause the divorce. It’s easy for adults to think that divorce is about them, but it is really the children who need support at this time, and you can provide it.

If you’re reading this far, it’s clear that your children are your top priority. That’s wonderful, and they should be. Make sure you know what legal steps to take to keep it that way.